DND to stop restroom renovation project after COA flags ‘unnecessary expenditures’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 28) — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed on Tuesday that he ordered the removal of hot and cold shower as well as air conditioning units from the wash rooms of his office after the state auditors said these were considered ‘unnecessary’ expenses.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Lorenzana said that aside from removing the installed units in question, the restroom renovation project worth ₱6.4 million will be “discontinued.”

The DND chief said that those in charge of the project should "return the money spent," saying that is their "accountability."

In its 2019 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) recommended that the department justify the remodelling of comfort rooms located in its South Wing area as well as explain the “delayed procurement process” of the project.

COA then suggested that the DND should “allocate resources for a more valuable project relative to their mandate while ensuring that only necessary expenditures are incurred.”

The commission noted that it had discussed these observation and recommendation with concerned officials on February 26, 2020.

CNN Philippines Correspondent David Santos contributed to this report